Information Technology

Gartner Glossary

Virtual LAN (VLAN)

A virtual LAN (VLAN) is a set of systems that, regardless of higher-layer addressing or location, is designated as a logical LAN and treated as a set of contiguous systems on a single LAN segment. Virtual LANs can be proprietary or standardized using the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 802.1Q. Typical grouping parameters for VLANs include the port number of the hub, switch or router, the higher-layer protocol such as Internet Protocol (IP) or Internetwork Packet Exchange (IPX), the Media Access Control (MAC) address, and the traditional subnet. The goal of VLANs is to provide simpler administration, simple moves/adds/changes to network devices, and partitioning at the MAC layer.

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